Monday 7 March 2016

4th Guards Infantry Corps Artillery Review

"AT Artillery

The 45 mm anti-tank guns mod. 1937 and 1942, despite all of their tactical, technical, and design qualities (good mobility, off-road performance, ease of concealment, and reliability in battle) cannot be used in the Red Army in the future due to the weakness of its shell against modern tanks.

It is reasonable to replace 45 mm guns with regimental batteries of 57 mm AT guns, which is a very powerful gun. Introduce an APC as a method of transportation for this gun that can provide protection for the crew during movement and repositioning.

The 76 mm ZiS-3 has good range and good point blank range, as well as a good rate of fire,  and performed well against tanks in the Great Patriotic war. Only against the German King Tiger tanks was the ZiS-3's shell insufficient. It is necessary to increase the muzzle velocity of the shell. The gun is light, maneuverable in battle, does not jam often, all mechanisms work precisely and flawlessly.

It is necessary to have an APC for AT units armed with 76 mm guns.

Infantry support artillery

The 45 mm gun mod. 1942 is very maneuverable, precise when shooting over open sights, and works well when firing at MG nests and portholes in pillboxes and dugouts. All gun mechanisms work flawlessly in battle.

Since the gun is almost always among infantry, it is necessary to make a double gun shield with sloped sides to protect the crew from bullets.

The 45 mm gun should be retained as an infantry support weapon only, as it did not fare well as an anti-tank gun and should be replaced with 57 mm guns.

During the Great Patriotic War, the 76 mm regimental gun mod. 1927 proved itself as an infantry support gun and in battle against light and medium tanks with HEAT shells. However, the mount does not allow firing at tanks easily and makes the gun clumsy. The muzzle velocity is low and the gun is relatively heavy. All mechanisms work flawlessly in battle.

The 76 mm regimental gun mod. 1943 is a good gun for infantry support only. It is light, mobile, its mechanisms work flawlessly. On the other hand, it is completely unsuitable for fighting tanks. Due to this, we reached the conclusion that it is much more reasonable to introduce a universal gun into infantry regiments (for both infantry support and anti-tank work), the 76 mm ZiS-3 gun.

It is necessary to introduce a six-horse carriage for this gun.

The 76 mm ZiS-3 gun is entirely satisfactory in its range, has a sufficient rate of fire in various battlefield conditions. Its shot has sufficient penetration against tanks (100 mm at 200 meters with a subcaliber shell). The gun is also entirely satisfactory to infantry, as its fire is effective against enemy troops. The gun is maneuverable and very well adapted to being towed mechanically. It is necessary to introduce an APC to tow this gun.

The authorized gun crew is entirely satisfactory for servicing this gun.

The existing shells and propellants are entirely satisfactory for completing tasks assigned to this gun.

The highest acceptable speed during march is 30-40 kph, depending on the transport. In battle, the ZiS-3 gun performed various marches, with the speed also depending on the transport. The longest marches were 250 km per day on paved roads. The existing sight is entirely satisfactory in modern battle and does not require any changes.

During movement and firing, the axle can be deformed (it is weak and bends). It is necessary to reinforce the axle or introduce a new one. Other mechanisms and components wear down with comparable speed. When towing the gun with horses, leave behind the propellant crate and limber, as it is extra unnecessary weight during towing.

The gun needs to have parts and instruments kits at the gun, battery, and regiment level consisting of: a spare assembled striker mechanism, artillery technician's bags, necessary wrenches, a double pump, and a return gear test device. Each gun needs to have a jar for storing lubricant and a testing rod. Store the gun kit with the gun and the battery and regimental kits in the regimental warehouse.

The 122 mm mod. 1938 howitzer showed itself well as an infantry support measure when destroying medium fortifications (wire obstacles, trenches, pillboxes with light coverage, dugouts).

The range and rate of fire are entirely satisfactory for completion of tasks assigned to this gun in various battle conditions and types of fire. However, the 122 mm howitzer cannot be used specifically as an anti-tank gun, as it is heavy, not mobile, and has low muzzle velocity.

The 122 mm howitzer has low dispersion due to its weight. It satisfies all requirements and demands given by infantry. As a divisional system, it is sufficiently maneuverable. A wheeled artillery tractor is most appropriate for towing this gun (three axle, like a Studebaker).

The authorized gun crew is entirely satisfactory for servicing this gun. The existing shells and propellants are also entirely satisfactory for completing tasks assigned to this gun.

The gun's springs let is be towed at a speed of 60 kph on good roads and up to 15-20 kph on bad roads. An average daily range depends on the type of transport. Situations occurred when the gun travelled 250 km.

The sights are sufficiently stable and perfected. It is desirable to replace the independent angle sight with a side level on the normalized sight, as, due to its complexity, it is prone to error.

Aside from existing ammunition for the 122 mm howitzer, it is desirable to add canister shot and increase the amount of HE-smoke shells, as the demand for the latter exceeds supply.

The gun is convenient to convert from travel to firing position, and it takes 1-2 minutes to do so.

The gun has no characteristically unreliable parts during travel and firing, all mecanisms wear evenly. When maintained well, the iron case can be used as much as the brass one. It is possible to use either one twice without sending it to the factory, as expansion is negligible. For this, it is necessary to supply spare primers. Reloading these shells should be done at field reloading workshops.

The existing parts and instruments kits for the 122 mm howitzer (gun, battery, regiment) sould be left alone. Store the gun kit with the gun, battery and regimental kits with artillery workshops. Keep a spare striker mechanism, a jar of lubricant, wrenches for fuses, primer plugs, and extractors. Have one double pump per battery, with a hose, manometer, a device for measuring fluid in the return gear, special wrenches, an artillery technician's bag. Store the rest at the artillery workshop.

The 122 mm gun and 152 mm gun-howtizer showed themselves well in the Great Patriotic War. The range, rate of fire, and especially accuracy were always satisfactory for completing any task assigned to corps or army artillery. When firing over open sights, the rate of fire of these guns is insufficient. A high muzzle velocity, and therefore point blank range, allows the 122 mm gun to fire directly at tanks, but the rate of fire and insufficient mobility due to its large size make the gun vulnerable to enemy tanks and artillery.

In good conditions, both systems satisfy the mobility requirement for cooperation with infantry. The following artillery tractors showed themselves well when towing these systems: ZiS-5 Voroshilovets, American ND-7 and ND-14 tractors. However, a lack of cargo area on the American tractors makes them insufficiently convenient.

The authorized crew size is sufficient for servicing the gun in battle. The existing shells and propellants are entirely sufficient for completing tasks issued to corps and army artillery. No addition to ammunition needs to be made.

All mechanisms worked flawlessly during firing.

Existing sighting mechanisms are very stable. It is desirable to replace the independent angle sight with a side level on the normalized sight, as, due to its complexity, it is prone to error.

The off-road performance of both systems with good transport is good. The maximum speed on the move is 30 kph.

The average daily range with an ND-7 or ND-14 tractor is 80-85 km

Due to complexity of the system and insufficiently trained crews, there were cases of bending the combat to travel conversion mechanism.

Sagging of the wheels can occur during travel due to wear of a rubber ring and breakdowns of the limber buffer spring.

During firing, neither system has characteristic failures. Most often, the wheel plug wears out the fastest, rendering the gun unusable. The spring leaves also fold due to insufficient robustness of the spring pins.

The mount, limber, and conversion mechanism of both systems needs to be redesigned.

Each gun needs to have: a spare assembled striker mechanism, fuse wrenches, primer plugs, jars for lubricant. Each battery needs to have an artillery technician's bag and special wrenches. The rest of the repair and parts kit can be stored at the regimental artillery workshop.

For artillerymen, the following weapons are most convenient:
  • Gun commander: PPS
  • Gunner: pistol or revolver
  • Other crewmen: mod. 1944 carbine
  • Radio operators and scouts: PPS
  • Riders: carbine"
Via kris_reid.


  1. anyone knows what are "American ND-7 and ND-14 tractors" ? Would appreciate :)

    1. These are Allis-Chalmers tracked tractors.

  2. Do you have some info when did A19 guns received armour piercinng ammo. Was it before the introduction of IS-2 tanks?

    1. Experiments with 122 mm AP ammo started before the war, so I imagine it was a bit earlier.